Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Yesterday I sat in the parking lot of my gym after finishing up a phone call with Nicole. For about 15 seconds my mind fought with itself over my desire to leave the gym and skip my workout. (I think I have these feelings about 1-2 times every two weeks: not bad. However, I always quickly remind myself that in a short period of time I'll be required to look better than good in a silk green bridesmaid dress.) Get out of the car, once you're inside you won't want to leave. After telling myself that line I begrudgingly walk in and check out the class schedule for the day. Being that Sam had a 5:15 baseball practice I made it to the gym a little after 6 and actually arrived in time to take an evening class like the rest of the world who gets off at a decent hour.
6:30 class: Yoga (for all bodies) For all bodies: so does this mean that the room won't be packed with 5'2" girls who popped out of their equally small mothers breathing deeply, calmly saying namaste as their first words and ever so cooly twisitng up like a pretzel whenever asked?
I decide that maybe this yoga class will be a better way to ease me into my workout for the evening. I do a quick 10 minutes of running on the treadmill and head into the room at 6:25. Just enough time to stop sweating, breathe normally and check the fellow yogaers. Yogaers? Yogais? Yogaites?
So far so good. Only two other people in the room: a normal looking couple who are not doing anything annoying like sharing a mat or holding hands while they synchronize their breathing. (In fact, I didn't even know they were a couple until the end of class when the guy asked the woman what they should have for dinner. That's cute.)
By the time I get a mat and a yoga brick and look over to see my fellow classmates are barefoot while I take off my shoes but decide there is no way I'm taking off my socks, my teacher arrives. She looks just like a yoga teacher- as if I know what they look like, but she does: cropped hair, the definition of yoga pants, calm, quiet smile, but not all bouncy or energetic like an aerobics instructor. She passes out those strap things and as she passes me one she quickly suggests that I might like to find one of the longer mats instead of the typical work out mat I've chosen out of habit from all my crunches. "Oh yeah of course" I say. Darn, I screwed up already. Because of course in my head that's a mess up for the student that I always am.
As class begins, about three other women filter in and we begin by breathing. A lot of breathing. Breathe? I don't breathe. I mean, I breathe but I don't, ya know, breathe. This is the extent of my thought while breathing: I've been running for twenty minutes, thank God my ipod is on and there isn't a soul in the room because I sound like I'm dying.
"Listen to the music and focus on the patterns of your breathing. Think about only the space of this room," she says. Think. Interesting music, definitely couldn't run to this. I wish I was listening to the new Wheezer CD right now. I need to buy that when I get paid. Paid- only two days. Then i get to go home, yay! Home, I love my new room. "Keep your thought on this space." Right, this space. Yoga. How many calories do you burn doing yoga? Does anyone know? Amanda loves yoga. Maddie took a yoga class once. Damn this thinking is hard. haha, I wonder what this would be like if Maddie and Jena and I were taking yoga together. I would definitely not be focusing. They're not even here and I'm not focusing. "Now that you've released your negative energy and entered this space..." Wait, I'm not done!
Breathing goes into stretching. "Stretch the heels into the earth." she says. "Turn your body and feel the stetch in your spine- an organic movement." I think this means press the bottoms of my feet into the floor and when I turn my back my spine shouldn't feel like I'm breaking it in half.
As class continues we move into the classic- downward dog. Even a yoga virgin like myself knows what that is- a creepy Cosmo name for a yoga move. More specifically, all your weight feels like it's in your arms and hands while your feet are parallel to one another and your ass is sticking straight in the air- awkward. This of course is the time of class when the teacher goes around to correct or compliment everyone's position. Shit, this hurts, but does it look right? My upside down head glances at those around me to see if I'm doing it correctly. No luck because all the blood is rushing to my head and all I can focus is on the pulsating. Oh, and the seizure like shaking of my jello like arms. Now my teacher is hovering over me mumbling something about shifting. Shift? Shift what? I feel like I'm going to topple over and your soothing voice makes me want to scream, "I don't do yoga! I can't breathe, I can't focus, I run, that's it."
Throughout the rest of class we move in awkward positions and do some ab workouts. She keeps giving these ab moves fancy Eastern names that I can't even remember. It's called a sit up in cardio world.
"Everyone lay down and stretch from your arms to your toes. Feel the sun and the earth and your heart..." I've tuned out but know this is the last five minutes of class where you get to close your eyes and do nothing, yes! "As you relax, stay focused on your breathing. Inhale all your positive energy and exhale your negative thoughts while I pass out some eye masks." Eye masks? Eye masks which have been used by countless other people which means their eye sweat is all over it. So now I can't focus on positive energy crap because I'm thinking about the exact second she's going to lay an eye mask on me and I'm going to jump up like a kickboxer and refuse to wear it. I feel her coming towards me, but not with an eye mask- with a kleenex. Oh thank God. She's using a Kleenex as a protective layer.
After five minutes of heaven I wish her voice was saying we could sleep there for the rest of the night, but it is time to sit up and bow while she makes eye contact and says namaste (who the hell thought of that as the Yoga slogan anyway?) to each one of us. I think we're supposed to say Namaste back, but I find that awkward and quietly whisper thank you (like the cardio girl that I am) instead.


Claire said...



that was the greatest story ever! love it!

and its like that one episode of gilmore, where Lorelai actually explains how here thoughts go on inside her head.....I wish i could find the clip, it ends with monkey something something hahahha its priceless and TOTALLY how your/my head works. kudos for you for rocking the yoga class :

debbie brown said...

I guess it's not lonely in that little head of yours :)

Claire said...

ps: i still can't get over how LONG this is....

Lauren said...

this is such a cute post. I loooove it. I have all of these same anxietys everytime i go to pilates. ahahha

Kate said...

Oh that's too funny. It some-what reminds me of how I felt when I first took yoga. And the fellow people are yogis (or however you want to spell it.) You know, like Yogi Bear? I always enjoyed the relaxing at the end myself. And I did feel odd saying namaste back too. Ah, this experience sounds much like my first experience. You get used to it after a while....